Monday, April 28, 2014

I've been wondering if all the things I've seen were real...



Oh, heeeeeey! No, you don't have to adjust your computer screen, it really is me blogging after an almost 3 week hiatus. I want to thank all of you for the sweet emails checking in when you noticed my absence. It meant a lot.

For my first piece of business, how about the badass makeover on the blog? Through the beautiful and hilarious Lo from Our Crazy Ever After, (quite possibly my Midwest sister from another mister), I was able to find the amazing and uber talented Tia G from Hands on, Pants Off (best blog name, ever). During a late night bout of insomnia, I was stalking perusing Tia's blog, and happily discovered she does blog design.

In the beginning of the year I was working with an awesome gal to design my blog, but, she found herself dealing with some tough, and couldn't finish the design (full refund given, no hard feelings. Family first). I LOVED what she done up to that point, and was so bummed that I was left with part of a draft and broken dreams.

And enter Tia.

I sent her the draft, she worked her graphic design magic coming up with the blog design my dreams were made of. That's a real picture of yours truly, my real tattoo, sitting at my real vanity, with only 1 chin (fucking prednisone) donning my cute lupus rash. Ahhh, the wonders of Photoshop.

I get giddy when I look at my blog, so SO happy with the end result. I mean, scars under each sidebar title? Pure genius. So, my Lo-love, thank you for bringing Tia and I together through the wonderful world of nose tampons and infertility. Only you. And Tia, thank you for one badass blog design. I shall be sending anyone who asks your way! <3

It's been quite some time since having the roller coaster of emotions I am currently experiencing; Many commitments forgotten and lots plans changed recently. Not how I usually roll, but sometimes, things take precedence over others.

In the past few weeks my mother-in-law was in the hospital, a good friend in a car accident, a cousin had surgery for cancer, both my parents sick on top of my mom battling Parkinson's Disease and my dad with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (see mom, I DO care!), my best friend's husband was just officially diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), a dear friend is having surgery for breast cancer, bringing up a horrible time in my life with my therapist, the nose tampon debacle, my usual schedule of tests and bloodwork, and late Saturday night/Sunday morning, Steve's dear Uncle Anthony passed away after a courageous battle with prostate cancer. No, this is a not a "my life sucks more than yours," pissing contest. It's just been a lot. My brain is full and my heart heavy. I needed a break from the computer screen.

Back in September I went to a new gynecologist and discussed my looooong family history of breast cancer. She sent me to get my first mammogram (boobies clear!), and suggested I follow up with a genetic counselor and an oncologist to come up with a plan to begin monitoring me for breast cancer.

I put it off until this February, and met with the genetic counselor and oncologist, both of which were wonderful. As the oncologist was feeling my boobies, we were chatting and discovered she knew my mother from her time at Fox Chase! Small world! My breast cancer prevention plan consists of a yearly mammogram and MRI, alternating 6 months in between each test.

Two weeks ago today I finally went and got the MRI, and when I told my mom I was going, I said "this is the only test lately I KNOW will be fine!"

And last Monday, the dreaded call...

Hi Marla, this is a nurse from Cooper oncology. We got the results of your breast MRI, and Dr. G wants you to come in and meet with one of  our oncology breast surgeons, we have tomorrow at 1:45.
Erm... 
This never happens that we have an open appointment this fast, so you should definitely take it if you can.
Erm...

Somehow my larynx sprung to life, and I managed to form words and schedule the appointment.

Clearly the person who was supposed to have that appointment suddenly died, or they thought I was about to.

And cue the mental breakdown.

I toot my own horn quite often over how well I handle all these fast balls that come straight for me. But hearing this news, on the 2 year anniversary since I last worked an ICU shift at CHOP, was too much.

I called Brie and she talked me off the ledge. She's amazingly good at it, and we always end up laughing/snorting/snotting by the end of our conversation. I broke the news to Steve that night, he immediately took off work for Tuesday, then proceeded to open a bottle of wine. Sometimes, a drink (or a bottle) is the answer.

Really long story short, I have a lobular mass in my left breast. The oncology surgeon (who was fantastic, by the way), tends to think it is benign (hooray!), but, because of my family history and laundry list of problems, it needs to be biopsied. This is something I never thought I'd have to do for at least another 10 years.

The biopsy is scheduled for this Friday afternoon. And since my appointment with the surgeon, I have been going to second base with myself pretty much every chance I get, groping the mass and trying to decide if it's gotten any bigger in the 5 minutes since I last felt myself up.

I'm nervous and could use some "YOU GOT THIS!" words of encouragement. Like I said, even though I have a strooooong family history of pre-menopausal breast cancer, this isn't anything I ever thought I'd have to deal with yet. I'm optimistic the surgeon is right, but can't keep these fingers from (feeling my boobs) hitting the The Googles and reading all the scary things.

Ye, it's been quite a few weeks, to say the least. Forgive me for my disappearance.

Love you all <3

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39 comments:

  1. Hey there doll face. Working with you was an honor. If it made you smile then I succeeded. Sometimes all it takes is a little facelift and Boom! Magic happens. Stay strong and stay positive. You got this.

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  2. Ah man Marla. I've been thinking of you and glad to see you've checked in. I'm sorry to hear about the biopsy on top of all the crazy shit you've been dealing with but YOU FUCKIN' GOT THIS. You will ROCK this biopsy and everything else you do. <3

    Also I don't know if this helps at all, but when my SIL was dealing with boob things I shared this song with her. My husband used to listen to it before missions in Iraq to pump him up. I think it helped her so thought I'd share it with you:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbcxQBc3YJo

    It's not a cancer song or anything to do with being sick, it's just a "YEAH FUCKIN RIGHT WATCH THE FUCK OUT" song. Sooo maybe have your volume at a reasonable level. :)

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  3. You have too much shit going on. And the boob lump is the cherry on top of a shit sundae. YOU GOT THIS. You will get the biopsy Friday and it will be benign. I demand it.

    I love the blog design! Really love it.

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  4. first off, LOVE LOVE LOVE the new design. it's so you! I already updated your button on my blog and everything! secondly girrrrrll YOU DO GOT THIS! after all that you've survived, all the health issues you roundhouse kicked out of the way, this will be a walk in the park! Missed your blog, glad your back!!! :)

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  5. 1) i love the new design and i'm glad you checked in...i was wondering where you went.

    2) boob lumps are the worst. many are usually benign too but it's better to be safe than sorry. my boobs have been felt up by many a surgeons because i had many lumps biopsied which all turned out benign. i guess i just have lumpy boobs but the waiting is the worst so i understand that you're nervous. YOU GOT THIS, GIRL. kick this biopsy in the arse and show it who's boss!

    -kathy
    Vodka and Soda

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  6. YOU GOT THIS! And we have YOU for when you feel like you don't!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Loving the new design by the way! :)

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  7. I missed you, I am glad you are back! Not glad about the booby lump, but let's go with the surgeon and his opinion that it is benign.

    I am loving the new design; so fun!

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  8. Your new blog design is frickin AWESOME!!! I love it so much. Now about this biopsy, YOU"VE TOTALLY GOT THIS!! It will be benign and its good to be on the safe side. I've missed you like crazy and always worry when you're gone for long. You seriously have way too much going on and i hate that for you. My granddad ( Poppy) had ALS and it feels like a kick in the gut when i hear someone else has it. Praying for you and Steve and your parents. Love you Chica! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

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  9. Good lord, woman. You've had a lot on your plate lately--and then to add all of this too? You are an effing rock star and handle everything like a champ. But if you need a minute to break down, I'm here. Sending you lots of good vibes, healthy booby thoughts and prayers. <3 <3

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  10. LOVE the new design! I'm glad you shared this news, shitty as it is. I'll be thinking of you Friday and fingers crossed that everything is A-OK! Love you!

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  11. Of course you've got this, it's not even a question! This is child's play for you, and you know it. I'm not even concerned! The design looks freaking fabulous, I adore it. Sucks about all that crappy stuff going on with your friends and family, I hope you get a break soon. A mental health day.

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  12. oh my god, the design is incredible. I'm blown away.
    and you totally got this and I will be thinking of you my friend. kick ass.

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  13. You got this girl! Sorry for all the fast balls coming at you. It can never be enjoyable during all of these trials but I know you are a fighter and will come out of this so much stronger and so much more empathetic for others going through trials themselves. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers!! Xo!

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  14. My heart was dropping as I read on .. UGH.
    You've been through so much already, damn it! I'm confident in the Drs and I'm sure it's benign! Positive thoughts coming your way. You're a force to be reckoned with... And I agree with all the ladies before; kick ass new design!

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    1. Thank you so much Dawn! Trying to remain calm, as you can imagine it's been tough. Thanks for your kind words! <3

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  15. My senior year of high school I found a golf ball size mass in my left breast. Because I was so young they decided to remove it instead of just doing a bio. I understand your concern. It sucks. But you are super strong and I'm confident that it will be nothing! I'm amazed at how strong you are. I only wish I could be as tough as you! Good luck but I'm sure you won't need it!

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    1. Wow, that is crazy young Leslie. I'm really remaining positive (well, trying to). There's no point fretting til I know what we are dealing with. Thanks for your sweet words!

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  16. Holy shit I don't know how you do it, but you do. You keep going even through the toughest crap ever. Hang in there and thinking of you!

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  17. girl! sending prayers and good vibes your way, you are so strong and such an inspiration!

    PS your blog looks great!

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  18. YOU GOT THIS! :) Man screw the whole hard is hard bullshit you win. WTF.. it's like everyone around you is crumbling down too - keep the spirits high man. There is nothing I can say to make it better so I'm just going to quote Tupac 'keep your head up'. If that doesn't work we can listen to Rack City by Tyga, a very wise rapper: "If you ain't got no ass bitch wear a poncho" - very wise. Your blog looks gangster :) Love the header image! Hope everything turns out swell and hope you're hanging in there love!! xoxo -Iva

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  19. First things first - the new design is AMAZEBALLS. Seriously - LOVE IT.

    Secondly, feel that confidance in your docs, and try not to worry until there is something to worry about. You have every right to be freaked the hell out, but dont let it overtake your life until your biopsy. Sending TONS of good vibes, prayers, good juju, all kinds of good things your way. <3 Hang tough!

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  20. First things first - the new design is AMAZEBALLS. Seriously - LOVE IT.

    Secondly, feel that confidance in your docs, and try not to worry until there is something to worry about. You have every right to be freaked the hell out, but dont let it overtake your life until your biopsy. Sending TONS of good vibes, prayers, good juju, all kinds of good things your way. <3 Hang tough!

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    1. Lol, I can only assume this is you, Lori!! Thank you so much, I'm really trying to stay sane and think positive <3

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  21. You got this lady!! I am thinking about ya!! I love the new design- freaking fabulous!!

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  22. Love love love your new design! I hope all the good things happen for you at your appointment, sending tons of positive thoughts your way!

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  23. Goddess speed to you always. I believe we "write our charts" on the other side before we come here to give us "stuff" that will perfect our soul.
    JMJ, it seems like you are perfecting the hell out of your soul. #somuchstuff YOU really DO GOT THIS!!!! The continuing flow of positive energy, healing energy, love and light from all of us who love you are reprogramming all of your cells to perfection. Oh, and that hat I instagrammed is yours.
    SPF 55 wide-brim. It will look stunning on you! Somehow Steph or I will get it to you. I can easily get another.
    All the love in the universe to infinity and beyond to you and yours!
    Love, Steph's Momma

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    1. Awwww, Steph's Momma, I just love you! And don't be silly with the hat, I've got plenty in my closet!! <3

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  24. Forgot about the design. It is just perfect.
    Love Steph's Momma

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  25. Clearly you don't have enough going on. More stuff should go wrong. Wow...I feel for you. That's a lot of stuff to happen in such a short time span. I don't blame you for needing some time to yourselves. I think your appointment will go just fine - you got this! And I love the design, too.

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    1. Thank you so much! Lol, yeah I'd say I have enough on my plate! <3

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  26. You TOTALLY got this!! Biopsies are obviously never fun but my gut feeling says oncology surgeon is right, that it's benign. It has to be! I'm sorry you've had such a draining couple of weeks. *Internet hugs!!* You are one tough cookie, MJ!

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  27. YOU FREAKING GOT THIS.
    And the new design is AMAZING. So gorgeous. I will be swiping the new button ASAP.
    Nothin' but love.

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  28. Son of a BBBBBB.
    First of all- I am obsessed with your blog makeover--it just..fits so perfectly!!
    second of all- FRICK about the biopsy. That super sucks but like you said- you can get through this. On top of everything else it's just stupid that you have another appointment, another procedure, etc etc. Just hang in there and deal with one thing at a time. Get yourself to the biopsy and relax. Get yourself to your follow up appointment and relax. We're with you.

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  29. I've been wondering where you were and was going to email you yesterday but your presence returned to my Facebook newsfeed and I was SO EXCITED because as we all know, you're one of my favorite bloggers. Anyway, so sorry (truly) to hear what a rough time of things you're having and please know I can relate in many ways. I'm sending all the positive vibes I've got in your direction, and plenty of love along with it. Stay strong and awesome! Also his new blog design is as fabulous as you are, by the way <3

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    1. Awww, I'm here, just been a hell of a rough time recently. I have been reading your blogs, but I have trouble commenting on my phone, especially WordPress! I'm glad to know I'm one of your fave bloggers (feeling is mutual, you always get me thinking), and thanks for the positive vibes!

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  30. First things first YOU TOTALLY HAVE THIS GIRL!!!!! Sending all the positive energy and thoughts that I can your way!!!! Please keep us informed of what is going on. Second so glad to see you bak and third I am loving your new design it is beautiful!!!

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  31. Oh my love! YOU HAVE SO GOT THIS!!! Sending you love, prayers and nothing but good vibes xxxx
    P.S The new design has blown me away, I'm in love!!!

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  32. I'll be thinking of you the rest of this week… hugs being sent from Boston!

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  33. You are quite possibly the most positive person I have ever met ( oh wait, we haven't met ). You handle each health shit storm with so much honesty and bravery. Good luck this week . I will be thinking of you !!! xoxo Britt

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Comments, coffee and bacon rock my socks! But, since you can't leave coffee or bacon (they really should make an app for that), then leave me some comments! I love hearing from you, and always do my best to reply to everyone. <3